Thursday, October 20, 2016

Crossing the streams

The Tinkerage is all for adapting and combining the best of different systems, hence BRP Middle-earth and other rules hacks, but here are some recent wild ideas for combining systems and settings.

Magic World & Dragon Warrior's World of Legend

Magic World, although it has some faults, is an excellent BRP-based system customized for gritty, medieval fantasy. Dragon Warriors, the classic British fantasy RPG, has a gritty medieval background with plenty of intriguing details, an authentic sense of the Gothic, and is rich in faerie and folktale lore. The adventures, providing for scenarios and campaigns, are excellent.

Dave Morris, who authored Dragon Warriors with Oliver Johnson, remarks that the essence of the game doesn't lie in the mechanics but in the world itself. So, Magic World's tested, accessible rules could be a perfect match for the world of Legend.

The only rule I would change directly would be limiting the skills of new characters to something near 75%, perhaps by limiting skill point allocations to around +50 at most during character creation. As written, it's possible for a new Magic World character to have at least one skill of 80% or more, and this doesn't fit with Dragon Warrior's characters at Rank 1 being capable but far from over-powered to meet the supernatural foes that inhabit Legend.

BRP & Advanced Fighting Fantasy and Allansia

Thinking along the lines above suggests a step further. BRP is the quintessential rules toolbox system. Advanced Fighting Fantasy, featuring the perilous lands of Allansia in the world of Titan, is the essential eclectic "dungeon and wilderness" fantasy adventure system and setting combined.

Advanced Fighting Fantasy is a great introductory system with a wide array of options, and like BRP it's a skill based system. So it's possible to see a way to quickly create or convert Fighting Fantasy style characters that will use BRP rules and mechanics:
  • Generate the basic characteristics, damage bonus, Magic Points, Hit Points, and so on as usual.
  • Assign skills and skill percentiles using the AFF rules and skill list as guidelines. In AFF there are only four skill "categories", so these could be based directly on one attribute. For example:
    • Combat: STR
    • Movement: CON (representing general fitness)
    • Stealth: DEX (with the exception of Awareness skill, which should be INT)
    • Knowledge (includes Magic): INT
  • Characters in AFF start with either 1 or 2-point special skills. For a 1-point AFF skill, add 30% in BRP, and for a 2-point skill add 50% to the category modifier above. Allocate three 2-point skills and six 1-point skills on this basis.
  • With a little tweaking, the GM can also assign AFF magic styles as Sorcery (a single skill, fixed list of spells) or Wizardry (a skill for each spell, but no limit to the spells that can be discovered or learned).
These ideas are completely untested — cross the streams and who knows what might happen?